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De-chlorinated water a possibility for Napier

Napier City Council will consult on the possible introduction of de-chlorinated water stations through the Long Term Plan process.

 Water fresh 815 x 510

At the full Napier City Council meeting held this afternoon, Councillors spoke in support of formal consulation on the matter and deferred further discussion until after the community’s voice had been heard. Deputy Mayor Faye White told the assembled council she believed the decision was too important to make in isolation.

NCC has been chlorinating the city water supply since last year, after its secure bore status was removed. The Havelock North Water Inquiry Stage 2 report has also recommended universal treatment of water supplies throughout New Zealand.

At the time of the initial chlorination of the city network, Council installed public taps accessing a chlorine-free supply. Approximately 1000L per day was taken from the chlorine-free water station, indicating between 50 to 100 residents were using the tap daily. The taps were closed once the entire city network required chlorination.

Providing de-chlorinated water stations is not common practice in New Zealand, and comes with a financial cost and some operational risk, according to the agenda item brought to Council today. Each water station is estimated to cost $33,000 to build and install, with projected annual operating and maintenance costs of $15,000 each. To have two taps, the cost has been calculated at just under $20 per 1000L, compared with the current metered rate for a residential property of 77 cents per 1000L.

Councillor Tania Wright said this figure had to be weighed up when residents could consider buying “a $15 jug from K-Mart” to filter their water.

The report presented several options:

  • Do nothing – as the current supply meets all health and water quality requirements
  • Provide a single de-chlorinated water station at a central CBD location
  • Provide four de-chlorinated water stations at strategic locations such as Taradale/Greenmeadows, Maraenui, Napier CBD, Westshore/Bay View
  • Determine an alternate number and/or location of de-chlorinated water stations
  • Provide a true chlorine-free supply from a dedicated bore (which brings a degree of complexity with regards to water storage, and goes against Stage 2 Inquiry findings)

Councillor Annette Brosnan was an apology at today’s meeting – she has just given birth to a baby girl.

20 February 2018

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